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Max Liebermann

(1847–1935, Berlin)

Judenstraße. Etching and drypoint, gone over with charcoal and pencil, on Van Gelder Zonen laid paper. 30 x 39.7 cm. Signed “MLiebermann” and inscribed “First state, second impression” and “gone over with charcoal” in the artist’s own hand. 1909. Schiefler 80 I (of III b).

Liebermann convincingly renders the vivid street life in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam at the beginning of the 20th century. The artist painted, drew and etched this street – Uilenburgersteeg on the corner of Jodenbreestraat – on a number of occasions and from a wide variety of different angles. He particularly liked the colourful scenery and the frantic activity of merchants and passers-by and thus created artistically captivating images of this microcosm of Jewish life. Liebermann made the present etching in preparation for the painting Judengasse in Amsterdam which he completed the same year (Eberle 1909/1). Apart from the reverse view of the print, both compositions are identical right down to vibrant little details such as the gestures and clothing of the staffage figures. The present sheet is a rare first state impression reworked by Liebermann before the changes made to the figures near the barrow in the left foreground and to the wheel and side of the barrow. The group in the left foreground is still quite light and its contours are more pronounced; at the same time the changes in the figures have already been prepared with charcoal and pencil in anticipation of the second state. The regular edition of the final state was published by Bruno Cassirer in Berlin. The impression, which is already of the utmost rarity in this state, is rendered unique by the additional manual revision undertaken by the artist. A brilliant, richly inked impression with fine, even plate tone, distinct platemark and very wide margins. Only minor traces of handling,otherwise in excellent condition. The present impression recorded by Schiefler; ex collection Heinrich Stinnes, Cologne (Lugt 1376a).

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